U.S Secretary of States, Condoleezza Rice, said that Hamas should prove its willingness towards peace by taking some necessary steps.

Rice told reporters in the Bahrini capital of Manama, following meetings with foreign ministers of Gulf states, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq, that Hamas should release the captured Israeli soldier Gil’ad Shalit, stop homemade shells fire onto Israeli towns and renounce control of the Gaza Strip.

Rice’s remarks came after a series of meetings between Hamas’s leaders inside Palestinian territories and in the exile with ex-U.S president Jimmy Carter.

Hamas showed flexibility over ceasefire but said that such a ceasefire should be simultaneous , mutual and comprehensive. Hamas also accepted a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders but without recognizing Israel.

Since taking power after January2006’s parliamentary elections, the Islamist Hamas party has shunned peace talks with Israel until Israel halts actions against the Palestinian people in both the Gaza Strip and West Bank.